On Thursday, podcast host Megyn Kelly got into a heated debate with virologist Dr. Robert Garry, as she questioned him about the Wuhan lab leak theory, asking him several times to stop dodging her questions.
During Sirius XM’s “The Megyn Kelly Show” podcast, the host spoke with the Tulane virologist about the “furin cleavage site” in the virus, and discussed how he allegedly changed his mind in just 48 hours regarding the virus’ origin, jumping from a lab leak in Wuhan, China, to something that began in nature.
Garry said that the furin cleavage site wasn’t some “smoking gun” for “lab leak proponents.” Kelly said he was “backtracking” when he repeated his claim it wasn’t something new in coronaviruses, reminding him that he claimed earlier in the show that there has “not been another one with furin cleavage site.”
Kelly then noted that, due to released emails, Garry originally thought COVID was likely leaked from the Wuhan lab, stating that he said, “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature.”
However, just 48 hours later, after he had conversations with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as then-Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, he changed his mind. Kelly said that Garry completely “reversed” himself, saying after, “it can’t possibly be lab leak, it is nature.”
The virologist attempted to correct the record, explaining that it was “one email” that he sent to his “colleagues that were looking at this, one email out of hundreds of emails,” adding that, when he went further into the genome, it became obvious that the coronavirus was natural.
“But forgive me,” Kelly interjected. “Wasn’t it just days … just two days later that you reversed yourself and said, actually no, okay, forget what I said about it coming from a lab. I now say it’s natural.”
Garry replied that it wasn’t “really a reversal” and claimed, “it’s what scientists do.” When pressed by the host about “what happened in those 48 hours,” the virologist repeated his claim that he looked at the “genomes of the viruses more closely.”
The former Fox News host then pressed Garry over his paper calling the origin “natural” after speaking to both Fauci and Collins, who have both said on record that they do not want the virus to be labeled a lab leak.
“It’s one thing if you can say, ‘Megyn, let me show you what I saw that proved to me it came — we found the pangolin,’” Kelly said. “You know, that’s why. I’d say, gotcha. I get it. But there’s nothing that proved this thing came from nature in those 48 hours. Nothing. What happened was there was a communication with Fauci and Collins.”
Garry claimed that Fauci and Collins didn’t have strong opinions about COVID’s origin, to which Kelly replied, “That’s not true. Because we have their writings.” He then insisted that they didn’t attempt to influence his article in “Nature Medicine” magazine and said we “changed our minds.”
“The science was very clear then; it’s very clear now,” Garry added. “They didn’t have a virus like SARS CoV-2 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They didn’t stick a furin cleavage site in it.”
“You don’t know that,” Kelly replied. “You absolutely do not know that.”
“I do know that, actually,” the virologist insisted. “I mean, based on all the science and evidence that we’ve gathered, it’s just extremely unlikely that they had anything close to SARS CoV-2 in that lab.”
“Well, that’s different than no,” Kelly said. “Now you’re admitting that you’re just positing this. ‘Extremely unlikely’ is different from ‘I know she didn’t do it.’ There was bat coronavirus, gain-of-function research going on.”
Kelly asked the virologist to confirm that there was no “gain-of-function research” taking place at the lab, to which Garry said “there was research being done, but there was no research being done on a virus that could’ve been converted into SARS CoV-2.”
Kelly asked how he knew, and he said “they would’ve published on it before … it’s hard to find in nature. So, how did they get it?”
When she asked how he’s certain they would’ve published and wouldn’t do so if it was being done with ill intention, he said once again, “We’re diving into conspiracy theories there.”
“No, it’s not a conspiracy theory,” Kelly replied. “It’s a question. It’s a question. You can’t dismiss a legitimate question by labeling it a conspiracy theory.”
“That’s a tactic!” the host added. “That’s not science.”
Kelly then pushed back on Garry’s suggestion that all these scientists being in on it would amount to a conspiracy theory. “Why is it not possible that they were working on it in a low-security lab … and then they had a, ‘Oh, you know what’ moment when it got out?”
“I have to reject the idea that people like Peter Dazak and Ralph Baric were involved in some conspiracy with Zhengli Shi at the Wuhan Institute of Virology to create SARS CoV-2,” Garry shared. “It just did not happen that way.”
“Again, you’re setting [up] a straw man,” Kelly replied. “I’m not saying that they had a conspiracy to create this particular virus. I’m saying they were doing bat coronavirus research, gain-of-function research that was very dangerous. And it was not properly supervised in a lab with adequate security, which is what has led many of us to think something went wrong.”
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